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The experience of pain includes both mind and body. Pain can be magnified or reduced by our expectations, perceptions, and the meaning we give to it. Whether chronic, physical, or emotional, pain can lead to a perpetual stressed state of being.

The physical causes of chronic pain are yet to be identified. This has led to psychological labels among those who have been suffering from chronic pain and who are not getting better. Commonly used psychological labels associated with chronic pain are depression, hypochondriasis, hysteria, malingering, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Chronic pain, due to its psychological and emotional effects and the physical stresses on the body, may lead to reduced immunity, constipation, diarrhea, fatigue, headaches, lack of sleep, poor concentration, increased muscle tightness or tension, anxiety, and depression. This is where stress management techniques, such as massage, can be beneficial. Massage can help those who suffer from chronic pain cope more effectively with their conditions and the stress that comes alongside it, as well as decrease the physical symptoms of the stressors.

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